Sunday, August 19, 2012

Operation Bench Space

With Saint Mike busily working on getting the lady shed fully clothed, I have decided to focus on my own DIY activity this weekend.

It's a DIY project that I've code-named "Operation Bench-Space".  Our newly renovated laundry is abundant in bench space compared to our previous laundry.  You see we were coming from a very low base - we had zero bench space.  If the urge ever possessed me to fold laundry it had to be done on the top of the dryer (yes I still own one!!) or removed to the lounge room or elsewhere in the house.

The laundry when we bought the house...not a selling feature!

Our laundry makeover needed to accommodate the basics (washer/dryer/sink/storage) as well as the 'Holy Grail' for a house of five people - a second loo!!

Bench space and a loo...heaven!

I am loathe to look the bench-space gift horse in the mouth, but our post-reno laundry could still do with a little bit more as our house seems to exist in a terminal state of over-flowing laundry baskets...and those suckers are taking up valuable real estate on my new bench!!

Operation Bench Space has been bouncing around in my head for a couple of months now and although I haven't gone so far as to have a mood board or anything that would indicate a level of organization and planning, I have certainly have numerous ideas percolating about it.  There's a couple of things that needed to be taken into consideration:

  1. However I designed the bench it needs to be a 'fold-down' type of arrangement as it's going to be situated above the loo that's saved our sanity.
  2.  The flat-pack cupboards that we went with for budget reasons are a bit on the blah side and the shelf therefore needs a bit of oomph:)
Trawling Pinterest I came across this image of a shelf made using an old shutter...

This beauty is from here

I don't normally embrace the shabby chic thing when it comes to decor, but I can take it in small doses.

I like the aged patina of the shutter and the iron definitely got me thinking that I could incorporate a shutter into Operation Bench Space.

Our lovely neighbor PK who has been Mike's mentor and general whizz with all things 'handyman' had mentioned a recycled building materials place in our general locale, so I went on a bit of a treasure hunt to see what I could turn up that would fit my vague specifications.

This place is a treasure trove if you're into the re-use/re-cycle concept. Twenty dollars later I had scored me a louvred door that was just the right size for my project.

Now I realise this whole project may have some of you scratching your heads wondering what the hell I'm thinking...but each to our own!  My door was in desperate need of a good clean.  Who knows how many years it had sat in the shed at this place before I rescued it!! 

Out came the rubber gloves and the scrubbing came the dust, dirt and grime!

I also removed the old hinges and the old door knob and got out my trusty palm sander ready for the next stage.

In the interests of retaining some of the patina of the door I decided not to repaint it, just to sand it back and give it a coat of Porters Clearcote to freshen it up a bit.

Sanding it has taken off a nice bit of paint so it's got that 'not new' look happening.....I'm hoping it's a nice counter point to the blahness of the flat pack cabinets!!!

The next job will be to cut the door in half lengthways as I only need one half for my drop down bench...the other half will sit in line with the upper laundry cabinets above the fold-down bench as a permanent shelf (hard to explain but I will show you 'after' shots when it's done.

Saint Mike is going to help me with fixing battens to the wall and side of the existing bench and put hinges on the end of the door so it folds down.

In the meantime, the freshed up door is waiting for the next stage of Operation Bench Space.


  1. All that work and with a dodgy arm. Very impressive. Allan has just been home for a week and he managed to take a loo apart that never quite finished flushing. I thought we were going to have to call in a plumber to put it back together but he fixed it!

  2. Love that look, love the door.. confused how you are planning to make it folding space above a toilette but I will await the answer :)


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